Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Seattle to T.C. by way of ...Dallas?

Dick's Report:

Seattle – Dallas – Chicago – Home

For a 6:05 a.m. flight, we had a 4:30 shuttle and thus a 3:45 wake up call. We didn’t need it. We were both ready to head for home. From getting up, to getting to the airport to going through security, almost everything went smoothly. Nancy did get rechecked because of the Nyquil and I screwed up by not taking the lap top out of the bag, but compared to our TC experience two weeks ago, it went smoothly.

Boarding also went smoothly, we were called for pre-boarding and settled into row 14. Three and a half hours later we deplaned at DFW and the fun began. We had an hour between planes and Nancy was met with a chair so it should have been a piece of cake. We get off at A 14 and board at E 23. According to the American Way map, there is a train that circles the terminal with stops near both of our gates.
All we have to do is roll up the gangway, get on the train, go around from A to E and arrive at our gate. Not at DFW. We roll up the gangway and - - - wait - - - for a courtesy car. There goes the first 20 minutes. I jokingly suggest that I should have found my own way to the gate and we could see who got there first. We get on the car and cruise through the terminal following and dodging travelers looking for their gates. “Excuse the car please.” “Car behind you.” At least in Chicago they have beepers. While still in A terminal, we stop while the driver escorts a passenger to the top of the escalator. When he returns, we continue. When he next stops, he takes us to an elevator, the largest we’ve seen and we go up a level. Here he directs us to some seats where we are to wait for a different car. Car number two arrives and the woman driver goes across an enclosed bridge alongside moving walk ways to another elevator. She escorts us to the lower level where there are seats for us to wait for a different car. At least this time we didn’t leave other passengers waiting in the car, we had it to ourselves.
The car arrives with a passenger. The driver must escort her to the upper level car the driver of which waits until we are in the lower level car. We must wait until the driver of this car returns, we have now burned up 45 minutes.

Here we go again through the terminal filled with travelers. This driver is a very soft spoken man of obvious Indian descent. His constant refrain “Excuse the car” in a sing song voice could barely be heard by us let alone the people in front of him.

We arrive at our gate in time to join the mob boarding the 777. We made it! It took an hour but we made it. No food or potty stop but we made it. On our way to Chicago, but we made it. What could go wrong? The plane is full and our seats are in the back, we slowly make our way to find that the seat is occupied! With the help of the flight attendant she finds her seat and we claim ours.

Chicago is different, our gate is in terminal I, and we’ve never been there before. It’s a long way from G. This time we get a regular chair and the transfer is a piece of cake. During our two hour wait we observe the drama of a plane with a mechanical returned to the gate. The passengers were upset after sitting on the tarmac for an hour. The worse was yet to come. After another half hour wait the flight was canceled and they had to reschedule. The eavesdropping and the people watching was great.
We were on time and back home by 9PM. We should be exhausted but the adrenalin from being in our own space was such we both stayed up ‘till after 12.